Boy, if this isn’t symbolic of the way the Pirates have collapsed in the standings recently, I’m not sure what is.
The Pirates just announced that Derrek Lee has been placed on the 15-day disabled list with a bone fracture in his left wrist. Lee has missed six out of the last eight games due to lingering soreness in his left hand as a result of being hit by a pitch from Carlos Marmol back on August 3.
Needless to say, the acquisition of Lee hasn’t worked out the way the Pirates hoped it would. The 35-year-old first baseman has been limited to just 19 plate appearances since being acquired from the Orioles on July 30, batting .278 with two homers, a triple and three RBI.
Of course, the Pirates are all but out of things in the National League Central now, so they shouldn’t really waste at-bats on someone who has no future with the team. This probably won’t happen, but why not give Pedro Alvarez a look at first base sometime in September? That’s where he’ll likely end up eventually.
UPDATE: According to Rob Biertempfel of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, Lee is expected to be sidelined for 2-4 weeks.
The Giants are finalizing a minor league deal for free agent outfielder Cameron Maybin, according to Andrew Baggarly and Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic. The team has not confirmed the signing, but it’s in keeping with their stated goal of adding more veteran presence and outfield options to their roster in advance of the 2019 season.
Maybin, 31, appeared in back-to-back gigs with the Marlins and Mariners in 2018. He slashed an underwhelming .249/.326/.336 with four home runs, 10 stolen bases (in 15 chances), a .662 OPS, and 0.5 fWAR through 384 plate appearances for the two clubs, a clear improvement over his totals in 2017 but still shy of the career numbers he posted with the Padres all the way back in 2011. It’s not only his offense that has tanked, but his speed and defense in center field, all of which he’ll try to improve as he jockeys for a roster spot in camp this month.
The Giants’ outfield has been largely depleted of any kind of consistent talent lately, especially taking into account the recent departures of Hunter Pence, Gregor Blanco, and Gorkys Hernández. Even with the acquisition of, say, All-Star right fielder Bryce Harper, there’s nothing standing in the way of Maybin and fellow veteran signee Gerardo Parra grabbing hold of full- or part-time roles this year, though they’ll need to outperform candidates like Chris Shaw, Steven Duggar, Drew Ferguson, Mac Williamson, Austin Slater, Craig Gentry, Mike Gerber, and others first.
In a previous report on Friday, Baggarly revealed that a “handshake understanding” had been established with several veteran players already this offseason, all but guaranteeing them regular starting opportunities over the course of the season. How those agreements will be affected by spring training performances remains to be seen, but at least for now, the Giants appear prepared to give their newest players a long leash as they try to get back on top in the NL West.